Clackamas County Democrats were upset to find that their official primary nominating ballot called them the “Democrat Party” rather than the “Democratic Party,” a mistake often perpetuated by right-wing pundits.

But according to an investigation by the state, local Dems can’t blame County Clerk Sherry Hall for intentionally misnaming what has been known as the Democratic Party since the 1830s — no matter how much they’d like to replace her in this May’s election.

“I am confident that this was not a deliberate act by the Clackamas County Elections official,” wrote State Elections Deputy Director Brenda Bayes.

Individuals registered in the Democratic Party will still receive the correct ballot with the correct candidates listed, and Bayes promised this error will not result in any issues that would cause Democratic voters’ ballots to not be counted. Secretary of State Kate Brown’s office will “work with all county elections officials in making the directive prepared” clearer and consistent to prevent this from occurring in future elections.

“There was a little inconsistency regarding the information that the secretary of state’s office provided regarding how to write the names,” Hall said.

Some members of the Democratic Party tried to use the mistake as proof that their May 20 ballot went missing intentionally, but this claim has also been debunked. If you’re a registered voter and you did not receive a ballot, contact the election office, and Hall promises to give you your ballot. Election Manager Steve Kindred says that every year a “handful” of people say they didn’t receive their ballot, and the four or five who have contacted him this month are a typical number out of more than 224,000 registered voters.

Kindred expects that between 35 and 40 percent of Clackamas County voters will return their ballots by the 8 p.m. deadline next Tuesday, about average for a primary election. More than 10 percent of voters had returned their ballots by the end of last week.

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